Joey Villasenor

Villasenor Returns at KOTC: Warlords in Feb


Joey Villasenor clinches with Jorge Santiago. Photo courtesy of KOTC.

Joey Villasenor will fight for the first time since September when he competes at King of the Cage’s Warlords on February 9th at the Ute Mountain Hotel and Resort in Towaoc, Colorado.

The promotion announced the event earlier this month. The event will feature a total of nine fights and will be sponsored by EliteXC.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on two out of his last three fights. A TKO loss to Murlio Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

An opponent for Villasenor has not yet been announced.

Showtime, EliteXC Presents Biggest MMA Event in Hawaiian History

NEW YORK – In less than seven months, ProElite’s respected live fight division, EliteXC, has gained the reputation for delivering consistently competitive, thrilling and memorable live Mixed Martial Arts events that showcase the world’s top fighters.

Under the watchful eye of Live Events President, Gary Shaw, EliteXC and SHOWTIME already have produced many significant accomplishments and has made MMA history on a couple of occasions; the most noteworthy of which: EliteXC is the first and only MMA organization on premium television.

On Saturday, Sept. 15, at Oahu, Hawaii, EliteXC will establish another first when it presents the most significant MMA event in Hawaiian history and the initial collaboration between EliteXC and Hawaii-based promoters and former rivals, ICON Sport and ROTR (Rumble On The Rock). The remarkable event will feature an explosive five-fight telecast airing live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) followed by four fights streaming live at the premier mixed martial arts social networking and entertainment site, ProElite.com.

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Elite XC Announces Partnership with ICON, ROTR; Complete Uprising Card

Elite XC, ICON Sport, and Rumble on the Rock announced their official partnership earlier today at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Elite XC President Gary Shaw commented on the importance of the three promotions working together:

“It really is a major step,” said Director of Live Events for EliteXC Gary Shaw with ICON promoter T. Jay Thompson seated to his right and ROTR’s J.D. Penn on his left.

The new alliance’s first event will take place on September 15th at the Blaisdell Arena. Dubbed Elite XC - Uprising, the event will feature Elite XC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua defending his title against ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler. The event will be broadcast on Showtime.

“September 15 will be the biggest MMA event Hawaii has ever seen,” said Thompson, however the longtime Hawaii promoter predicted “it won’t be the biggest MMA event Hawaii will see in the future.”

Shaw also talked about future Elite XC-promoted events that will take place in Hawaii:

“Coming to Hawaii was important to EliteXC,” said Shaw. “As I said before, I believe this is really the home of mixed martial arts. Next year we’ll be back. We won’t be back in ‘07, but I guarantee to you … we’ll be back here in ‘08.”

The complete card for the Uprising event was also announced during the press conference:

Main Card:

Murilo Rua vs Robbie Lawler - EliteXC Middleweight Championship
Nick Diaz vs Mike Aina
Joey Villasenor vs Riki Fukuda
Renato Verissimo vs Jake Shields
Gina Carano vs Tonya Evinger

Preliminary Bouts:

Jaw Suk Kim vs Brandon Wolff
Kala Halohe Hose vs Jeff Cox
Mark Oshiro vs Nui Wheeler
Mark Kurano vs Jose Diaz
Justin Bucholz vs Kolo Koka
Tyson Nam vs Albert Manner

The preliminary bouts will be streamed for free at Pro Elite’s official website. The main card will be broadcast on Showtime.

Update 1:33 PM: The Fight Network is reporting that Pro Elite, the parent company of Elite XC, is currently in serious discussions regarding the possible purchase of ICON Sport.

Icon Sport promoter and matchmaker Patrick Freitas confirmed Thursday that Pro Elite, parent company of EliteXC, were still in serious discussions regarding the purchase of the Hawaii-based mixed martial arts promotion. Freitas stopped short of calling any deal imminent, but the conceded the two promotions have been in negotiations for months.

“I think it’s no secret that Pro Elite and Icon are talking about the acquisition of Icon, but anything could happen,” Freitas said.

According to Freitas, should the deal be consummated, Pro Elite would purchase the rights to the company and would hire Icon Sport president T.J. Thompson and Freitas to run events as consultants. The Icon Sport brand would remain intact. The relationship between Pro Elite and Icon Sport began in March when Proelite.com streamed the Icon Sport middleweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Frank Trigg.

Shamrock-Baroni Press Conference Quotes

Despite rumors concerning the eligibility of both “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni and Murilo “Ninja” Rua to compete on Friday’s “Shamrock vs. Baroni” world championship mixed martial arts fight card, it was confirmed, two days beforehand, that both will suit up and enter the cage for their respective matchups.

Former UFC middleweight champion and King Of Pancrase, Frank Shamrock, will square off Baroni, a UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) title while former Pride stars, Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor and Rua will battle for the vacant EliteXC world middleweight (185 lb. limit) crown.

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Rua Likely to Fight Villasenor; Vitale Signed to Long-Term Deal

Armando Garcia and Ken Pavia have confirmed that the medical situation surrounding Murilo Rua has now been resolved and it is likely that he will go on to face Joey Villasenor for the Elite XC Middleweight Title this Friday night.

Elite XC originally announced that Rua was off of the card after failing a physical given by the CSAC. However he was never denied a license to fight in the state and after some consideration, Garcia found that Rua would be able to compete after all.

Vitale will be paid by Elite XC for his troubles and even though he probably will not be fighting on this event, Elite XC agreed to sign him to a long-term deal.

Elite XC Picks Vitale to Replace Rua

Elite XC has selected Falaniko Vitale to replace Murilo Rua at this Friday’s Elite XC/Strikeforce co-promoted event: Shamrock vs Baroni.

Vitale will be taking on Rua’s original opponent, Joey Villasenor. However since Vitale is being placed on the card so late, the California State Athletic Commission has ruled that the bout will now be a non-title affair.

Vitale is currently sporting a 22-7 record and has gone 7-4 since leaving the UFC in 2003. He is 1-1 in 2007: Vitale lost a split decision to Jeremy Horn at IFL: Oakland in January and returned to the win column with a victory over Mavrick Harvey at an Extreme Wars Hawaii event in March.

Murilo “Ninja” Rua Fails Physical, Off Strikeforce-EliteXC Card

Murilo “Ninja” Rua will not be fighting on the highly anticipated “Shamrock vs. Baroni” Friday, June 22 cage fight card extravaganza from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

“Ninja,” who was scheduled to fight Joey “Dream Smasher” Villasenor for the vacant EliteXC middleweight title as part of the Strikeforce-EliteXC cage fight card that will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME® PPV (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), did not pass the physical. 

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Shamrock Collides With Baroni on Judgment Day

NEW YORK - After months of deliberations, one of the most anticipated showdowns in mixed martial arts history will finally come to fruition when former UFC middleweight champion, Frank Shamrock, battles fellow knockout artist and consummate showman, “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) championship during the main event of “Judgment Day,” a live, Pay Per View televised Strikeforce-EliteXC cage fight card that will take place at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on Friday, June 22nd.

Also returning to action during “Judgment Day,” undefeated world San Shou kickboxing champion and middleweight mixed martial arts contender, Cung Le, will battle UFC veteran, Tony “The Freak” Fryklund. Strikeforce’s latest recruit, 2003 K-1 North America tournament champion, Carter Williams, will face the hard-hitting Paul Buentello in a heavyweight matchup. Off the heels of his stunning knockout victory over KJ Noons, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, will take on Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela.

Joey Villasenor and former Pride star, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, will lock horns with the vacant EliteXC middleweight title at stake. On February 10th, Villasenor pulled off a stunning upset by outmaneuvering and, eventually earning a unanimous judges’ decision over David “The Crow” Loiseau. Villasenor’s career is highlighted by a 15 fight winning streak that he put together between December 2002 and April 2006. A member of the famed Chute Boxe fight squad in Brazil, Rua was last seen in action on September 30th when he submitted British kickboxer, Mark Weir, with an arm triangle choke in the second round of their meeting.

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Loiseau to Train With Greg Jackson

David Loiseau will be heading to New Mexico in the next few weeks to begin training with renowned trainer Greg Jackson apparently.

Loiseau stated that he and Jackson both approached each other after his loss to Joey Villasenor and agreed to start working together. Both Loiseau and Jackson are very excited to be working with each other:

“I think Greg Jackson is a genius when it comes to MMA,” said the 27-year-old Loiseau. “It’s all about the chemistry, the fighter-trainer thing. With the changes I want to make, I think Jackson is man to bring me to the top.”

“It’s gonna be a ‘give and take’ relationship for sure,” said Jackson. “I think Dave’s got a lot of potential and I look forward to working with him.”

Working with Jackson also means that Loiseau and possibly his good friend UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will be training along side his opponent from last weekend, Villasenor, as well as current UFC title contenders Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, and Nate Marquardt…

“He [Jackson] has an army of great fighters and I am excited about joining the camp,” said Loiseau. “Every time Georges came back he would have so many great things to say about them.”

“I have so much to share with them technique-wise,” Loiseau agreed. “I’m not one to keep it to myself and I am definitely open to new lessons. The more you share the better you become.”

Looking at the stable of fighters currently training under Jackson and the success that they are having, he must definitely be doing something right…

Two More Fights Added to ‘The Real Deal’

Dream Stage Entertainment has announced two more fights slated to take place at PRIDE’s upcoming show ‘The Real Deal’. UFC veteran Robbie Lawler will be making his PRIDE debut against Joey “Dreamsmasher” Villasenor. Also on the card will be UFC veteran Marvin Eastman against Kazuhiro Nakamura.

As of late Robbie Lawler has been spending his time in Hawaii with Icon Sport. He just recently lost his middleweight title to Jason “Mayhem” Miller after going 2-0 in Icon Sport. Joey Villasenor made his PRIDE debut earlier this year at Bushido 11. He went up against Ryo Chonan and lost a controversial spilt decision. He has fought once then earning a TKO victory over John Cronk.

Marvin Eastman is coming off of a draw against Jorge Oliviera at WFA: King of the Streets. Eastman was scheduled to face Vernon “Tiger” White September 29th but he was forced to withdraw due to a hand injury. Eastman’s opponent, Kazuhiro Nakamura is a veteran of PRIDE and he has fought some top notch competition. Nakamura is 10-5 in PRIDE and he holds victories over the likes of Igor Vovchanchyn, Yuki Kondo, Murilo Bustamante, among others.

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